Douglas girls’ Volleyball take second at state
To a player, the members of the Douglas volleyball team insisted they wanted another shot at the Fallon Greenwave squad that had won the two previous matches between the former Division II rivals.
And that’s exactly what the Tigers got when both teams advanced to the championship game of the NIAA/U.S. Bank State tournament on Saturday at Galena High.
But Fallon, the undefeated defending state champion with two players heading to Pac-10 schools next year, apparently was anxious for a rematch with Douglas.
It was the Tigers, after all, who ruined the Greenwave’s chance for a perfect season last weekend in the 4A Northern Region championship game when they became the only Nevada team to win a game against Fallon.
Led by Jennifer Hucke, who has signed a letter of intent to play at Stanford University, and Monica Meihack, the 4A Northern Region Player of the Year who will continue her playing career at Oregon State, the Greenwave rolled to their second consecutive state title with a 15-6, 15-13, 15-4 win over the Tigers.
Hucke finished with 15 kills and Meihack added 12 kills.
“Fallon is awesome,” Douglas coach Scott Akimoto said after the match. “They’re a very good team. They have a lot of weapons.”
The Tigers struggled to get going in the first game. Douglas players were in the net three times as Fallon built an 8-1 lead that eventually blossomed to 14-3.
The second game was a different story for Douglas. Andrea Honer had three-point and four-point service runs – the only times in the match the Tigers served for more that two points in a row -to help the Tigers post a 12-9 lead.
Fallon then reeled off three consecutive points to tie the game and then went ahead 14-12 on a Douglas error and block by Hucke.
The Tigers fought for sideouts on three game points before the Greenwave finally sealed the game with a Douglas hitting error.
“I thought we should have won the second game,” Akimoto said. “That would have been huge. We had so much momentum going. And then, all of a sudden, we net a couple of times and we miss a serve and that totally took away our momentum.”
The Tigers had lost their first two games against Galena in the semifinals Friday only to rally and win the last three, but there was no magic left Saturday. Fallon scored the first 10 points in the third game on the way to closing out the match.
Chelsey Myers and Emily Haas each finished with eight kills for the Tigers. Haas added four blocks.
Jencie LeJeune had five kills, Megan Brinkmeyer chipped in with four kills and Honer had nine digs and four kills.
Senior setter Jamie McCreary finished her two-year career as the varsity starter with 29 assists.
“We had a very good season,” said Akimoto, whose team finished 24-8 overall and won the Sierra League championship. “I’m really happy with the kids and real proud of the kids. They worked their butts off since day one, the first day of triple days.
“Now it’s just time to go back to the drawing board and see what happens next year. We will have four starters coming back and everybody else losses a lot. Galena loses (Kellie) Burton. Hucke and Mo (Meihack) are gone. It’s going to be different.”
Haas, a sophomore who had a one-day break between the state championship match and the first day of basketball tryouts, said she and her volleyball teammates are already talking about dethroning Fallon next season.
“They’re losing Mo and Hucke and a couple other girls that were awesome and that were big parts to their team,” Haas said. “I think we have a good chance of taking state next year. I think we can do it.”